This March, the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) is joining with the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) and others across the nation to raise awareness about the importance of including people of all abilities in all facets of community life.

This year’s national disabilities awareness month theme is “A World of Opportunities,” celebrating people and working together to remove obstacles. According to NACDD, the goal is to build a community that's committed to creating a world where everyone can do well and succeed. Join us in making a world where all people have the chance to thrive.

In recognition of disabilities awareness month, the UK CERH and the Appalachian Center for Assistive Technology (ACAT) will hold a durable medical equipment (DME) drive each Friday until the end of March. Anyone having used medical equipment like walkers, canes, wheelchairs, shower chairs or other similar items, may drop off donations in the front lobby of the UK CERH at 750 Morton Blvd. in Hazard each Friday, 10 a.m.-noon. 

A dedicated team of employees and students at the UK CERH will refurbish the items and donate them to others in the community through Project CARAT Eastern Kentucky, a service learning project in which students receive special training to clean and refurbish DME items and distribute to individuals in need.

The ACAT offers a wide range of services to eastern Kentuckians, including the opportunity to borrow assistive technology devices through a short-term loan locker service.  ACAT also provides a maker space, workforce training, consultations and demonstrations, and is home to a number of related programs including Toys with a Purpose, a free lending library with adapted toys, and CARAT-TOP, a 10-week training program for high school students of all abilities. ACAT is a member of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network

For more information about the DME donation drive or the many services and programs available at the ACAT, contact Keisha Wells at, or visit